How to Treat an Infected Toe: 5 Best Natural Remedies

Having a toe infection is unpleasant, and it is not known how to treat an infected toe by everyone. Especially if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you need to know every detail about it.

An infection can start small and grow to the point where it cannot be ignored. An ingrown or toenail fungus is an example of a mild toe infection. Skin infection is another criterion that occurs when there are foot problems. Abscesses or cellulitis are more serious skin infections that can happen to the toes. A toe infection could become extremely serious and spread to the joints or bones.

Most superficial infections are mild and can be treated at home, but a serious condition needs to be treated by a doctor. For instance, if you start to notice red streaks or patches, it would help if you learned to tell the difference between the two because a doctor has to check on a serious infection to ensure it doesn’t get worse or spread.

Here is what to look for and how to address it.

1. Infected Toe Symptoms

If your toe is infected, you will likely experience one or more of the following symptoms:

Pain, pressure, redness, or skin color change; swelling; oozing a foul odor; feeling hot to the touch; a visible skin break or fever.

2. Toenail Infection Results Due To:

A toe infection can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:

  • An injury
  • An additional medical condition
  • A microorganism that naturally grows toenails

Toenail Ingrowth Infection

Infected ingrown toenails occur when the side of the toe grows down into the toe’s skin. This can be very unpleasant.

Ingrown toenails can be caused when someone wears properly fitted shoes or too tight shoes, cuts their toenails unevenly, or sustains a foot injury. Some individuals have toenails that grow with a natural downward curve.

Feet Fungal Infection

Paronychia is a fungal infection of the skin around the toenails. Candida is the causative agent in the infected area, but another pathogen, such as a bacterium, frequently accompanies it.

This infection causes the surrounding tissue and skin around your nails to become red and tender, and you may develop pus-filled blisters.

Occasionally, your toenail may even fall off.

Role of Diabetes

Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves in the toes. This may result in a toe infection that you are unable to detect.

In extreme cases, an untreated toe infection can become so severe that amputation may be necessary.

Toenail or Toe Injury

If you stub your toe hard, you may drive the nail into the surrounding soft tissue, which can lead to an infection.

You can also cause issues by cutting your nails too short near the edges and allowing them to grow into the fleshy portion of your toe.

If you cut your nails so closely that a raw spot is created, this wound can become infected.

Close-Fitting Footwear

Too-tight or too-narrow shoes can cause various foot issues, including infections.

A shoe that is too snug can exacerbate an ingrown toenail it is very important to wear comfortable shoes, and if you have diabetes, it can cause blisters or sores that can become infected.

Poor hygiene

Feet that are dirty or exposed to trapped sweat or moisture for extended periods can provide a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Always foot dry and let them release excessive pressure to heal properly.

The Athletic Foot

Typically, this fungal infection begins between the toes. Fungal nail infections occur when perspiration on the feet inside your shoes provides a moist environment for fungus to grow.

An athlete’s foot can cause itching or burning in the feet. It manifests as bright red, scaly patches and can spread to other areas of the foot.

The athlete’s foot is infectious. It can be acquired by walking barefoot in locker rooms, using soiled towels, or wearing the shoes of others.


Fungal infections can also affect toenails. Typically, the toenail fungus begins as a white or yellow spot on the toenail and spreads over time.

Your toenails may eventually become discolored, thick, cracked, or crumbly.

3. Things You Need to Know For How To Treat An Infected Toe

Once daily, soak the affected toe for 15 minutes in warm water mixed with antibacterial soap. The toe can also be soaked in apple cider vinegar.

A minor infection can be cured by applying tea tree oil directly to the affected area.

Consult a physician for prescription medication to treat a severe infection. Depending on the underlying cause, they may prescribe oral or topical treatment.

3.1 Assessment of Your Toe Infection

Examine your symptoms.

  • Sometimes it can be difficult to determine the nature and severity of toenail infection. It could be a simple ingrown toenail or a more severe infection that could spread throughout the body. To distinguish between the two, you must evaluate your symptoms.
  • Light infection is characterized by pain and/or tenderness, swelling, redness, and increased area temperature.
  • Signs and symptoms of a severe infection include pus formation, the extension of red streaks from the initial wound, and fever.
  • If you have the symptoms of a serious infection, seek medical attention. These symptoms include pus, radiating red streaks from the wound, and fever. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.
  • A severe infection may spread from the toe to the rest of the body. Extremely severe infections can even induce shock and endanger your life. Due to this severity, it is crucial to have a bad infection evaluated as soon as possible by a medical professional.
  • Consider whether a superficial infection of the toe can be treated at home. If none of the serious symptoms are present, but you are experiencing some discomfort, you may be able to treat the infection at home. Similar to other minor injuries, the infection may be treatable by cleaning the affected area, applying an antibiotic, and bandaging it for a few days. If this appears to be the case, proceed with this course of action.
  • If you have cleaned the area thoroughly, applied a good antibiotic, and kept the area bandaged and clean, but it continues to hurt or becomes more painful or inflamed, it is time to see a doctor.
  • Even if the infection is mild and does not seriously threaten your health, you can schedule an appointment to examine it. Use your best judgment, and remember that it is always preferable to err on caution.

Looking for Medical Care

Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations for a minor infection.

This medical treatment will vary depending on the infection’s cause. He or she may prescribe oral or topical antibiotics. Still, more often than not, he or she will recommend soaking the toe in a solution of half warm water and half liquid antibacterial soap for 15 minutes three to four times daily and keeping the area clean. Wear shoes which are suggested, moreover try to wear properly fitted shoes.

Soaking alleviates the infection and softens the skin, allowing the infection to “reach its peak.”

In the case of toenail fungal infections, your physician may prescribe an oral antifungal medication, antibiotic cream or ointment, or prescription anti-fungal nail polish.

Obtain Medical Care for a Severe Infection.

If the infection is deep and severe, a doctor may recommend a minor surgical procedure to treat it. This refers to the rapid surgical drainage of an infection, which is typically performed in the case of an abscess. Foot specialist knows the best, and it is paramount to get proper treatment.

The doctor may anesthetize the toe with lidocaine before opening the infection with a scalpel and allowing the pus to drain. Depending on the severity of the infection, wicking material may be placed in the wound to enhance drainage.

The wound is then packed for 24 to 48 hours with gauze. After this time, the packing can be removed, and the wound is examined and rebandaged.

Oral antibiotics may also be administered, and rest, letting the foot completely heal.

Apply the Medication to a Superficial Infection.

Toe infections on the skin’s surface can be treated in various ways. These consist of the following:

  • As with more severe infections, soaking the toe in a solution of half warm water and half liquid antibacterial soap is typically advised. Once per day, you should soak for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Antibiotic creams and ointments available without a prescription for bacterial infections: Among these are Polysporin, Neosporin, Bacitracin, and Triple Antibiotic ointment.
  • Antifungal creams available without a prescription for fungal infections include Lotrimin, Derman, Canesten, and others.

4. Utilizing Natural Remedies

Apply Oil from the Tea Tree to the Infection.

Tea tree oil should be applied directly to a bacterial or fungal infection. Tea tree oil is naturally antibacterial and can aid in the eradication of infections.

In clinical studies, tea tree oil has been shown to reduce athlete’s foot infections.

Apple Cider Vinegar Should be Used to Soak the Affected Toe.

You should perform this daily for 15 minutes. Warm or cold apple cider vinegar is acceptable. Use whatever temperature makes you most comfortable.

The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar likely contributes to at least some of its antimicrobial properties. Vinegar has been utilized for centuries due to its antimicrobial properties.

Apply a Paste of Garlic to the Infection.

Crush two to three peeled garlic cloves and combine them with olive oil, castor oil, or manuka honey, which also possesses antimicrobial properties. Apply to the wound and cover it with a bandage. Replace the garlic every day.

Garlic has antibacterial properties that aid in treating skin infections such as staph.

Every Day, Soak the Toe in Epsom Salts.

Add approximately 12 cups of Epsom salts to 3 cups of warm water. Allow your toe to soak for 15 minutes or until the water becomes too cold.

The high salt content is capable of eliminating bacterial and fungal infections.

Soak the Toe in Listerine Mouthwash Diluted with Warm Water.

Daily, soak the affected toe in a solution of equal parts Listerine and warm water. Listerine can treat a simple infection because it contains menthol, thymol, and eucalyptol derived from natural antibiotic sources.

If you have a toenail fungus infection, soaking your feet in a mixture of Listerine and white vinegar in a 50/50 ratio can help eliminate the infection.

Consult a Physician if Home Remedies are Ineffective!

If your infection does not improve after a few days of using home remedies or if it appears to worsen, you must seek medical attention. If these therapies are ineffective, you should discontinue their use.

Key Message

Our toes are taken for granted until they become painful.

You can keep your toes healthy and problem-free by inspecting them frequently, keeping your feet clean and dry, trimming your nails carefully, wearing shoes that fit properly, and treating infections as soon as they appear.


Apeksha Soni

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